Original Air Date: May 1, 8 & 15, 2011
Anna Maxwell Martin
A headmistress of a school in Yorkshire finds her running of the school compromised by social injustice.
Insightful, warm and full of memorable characters, South Riding tells a fraught love story and paints a panoramic portrait of a between-the-wars Yorkshire community.
In depression-hit Thirties Britain, Sarah Burton returns from London to her Yorkshire hometown to take up the post of headmistress at a struggling girls’ school. Full of ambition, she is determined to create a great school and inspire her girls.
As Sarah struggles against the crippling poverty of the district, she meets those at the heart of the local community: her brilliant but poor student, Lydia Holly; the county's first woman Alderman, Mrs Beddows, whose sensible demeanour belies a girlish heart; the noble but ludicrous Methodist preacher, Councillor Huggins; Sarah’s socialist suitor Joe Astell and the proud, haunted and almost ruined landowner, Robert Carne – a man Sarah finds herself drawn towards even though he stands for everything she detests…
Engrossing and entertaining, South Riding vividly brings to life a rural community on the brink of change.
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